Holding Us Fast

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Many cats are not "cuddlers." Of all the feline friends I've had, the current one, Lou Lou, is the cuddler.  She loves to be held.

Don't we all.

Yesterday afternoon I watched the movie, RISEN. I don't know whether it was the story line, or the fine acting, or that I was being particularly sensitive, but there were scenes where the actor playing the part of Jesus touched or embraced other characters. Those scenes moved me to tears and I wished for that kind of embrace. I thought again how blessed the real people in the real story had been to have felt that loving arm of Jesus holding them close.

As the character portraying Jesus disappeared into heaven he reminded his followers that he would be with them always. Even though not physically present to give them "cuddles" he would be there by his Spirit to meet every need (Matthew 28:18-20) as they went about the mission he had sent them to do.

In Psalm 139 we are reminded again of that same promise long before the Lord actually voiced it. The psalmist writes: "Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise up on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast" (Psalm 139:7-10).

For those of us on this side of the resurrection, as with those before the coming of Christ, the promise of the presence of the Lord was one that required faith. In the absence of Someone Who can touch and be touched, we believe what He said. We believe that He is holding us. We believe that nothing can loosen His grip on us and that when He says that He holds us "fast" He is not exaggerating. We believe that no matter where life finds us, He is there. We believe that whether the circumstances be grim or fair, He is there. We believe that there is always a cuddle available even where no human hand can be found.

And sometimes, when faith needs a little extra fuel added to its fire, He chooses to make that cuddle a palpable one. I remember one occasion when I needed not just to believe He was there, but to feel His arms around me. He granted me that blessing and I physically felt the cuddle.

But palpable or not, the promise is certain. He has held us fast. He does hold us fast. He will always hold us fast. Just as we love to cuddle so He loves to cuddle us.

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